How do you know if your dog has separation anxiety?
It is a question many pet owners find themselves wondering. In fact, spend time talking to dog trainers and a common theme will emerge. Nowadays, more dogs have anxiety than ever before.
From fear of loud noises and strange people to more generalized stress and anxiety issues, it is estimated that over 70% of all dogs show at least one anxiety-related behavior. Of these, separation anxiety tops the list. Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil (Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts) recently reported that veterinarians are seeing sky-high levels of pets experiencing mental distress due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Simply put, our poor pups struggle with being left alone!
So, the next logical question becomes, “What are the warning signs my dog has separation anxiety?”
Today, Pet Candy takes a close look at canine behavior to figure out what separation anxiety red flags to watch for.
5 “Uh Oh” Signs Your Dog has Separation Anxiety
As anyone who lives with an anxious dog knows, it can be incredibly difficult to come and go from the house. Suddenly, ordinary tasks (like dropping off the mail) require forethought. Understandably, living under the constant threat of an anxious episode is stressful on your sweet four-legged friend…and on you, too!
The good news is, recognizing red flags is easy enough.
And there are tools that will help.
For example, Brave Paws Daily Anxiety and Stress Support. These tasty beef-flavored chewable supplements – made with natural and sustainably sourced ingredients – may help calm anxious dogs.
But before seeing a veterinarian to officially diagnose your pooch with separation anxiety, see which of the following boxes their behavior ticks off.
- Body Language
First, observe your dog’s body language. Are they acting normal? A stressed-out dog won’t behave the same as a happy, relaxed one when left alone. Instead, their ears may be flat against their head, tail tucked between the hind legs, and most obvious, the whites of their eyes could show. This is sometimes referred to as “whale eye.”
Additionally, according to the American Kennel Club, a dog suffering from separation anxiety might lick their lips, yawn, and pant excessively.
Next, a frightened dog might freeze altogether. Unfortunately, this can be mistaken for submission. However, the truth is dogs who are terrified to be by themselves often shiver, tremble, or completely shut down.
A very big red flag!
What do young children do when afraid of the dark?
Hide under the blanket, of course. Dogs aren’t so different. During periods of intense separation anxiety and mental distress, many dogs will cower, make their body size small, or seek out a safe hiding spot while they await your return.
Luckily, some dogs find relief from separation anxiety through a crate. When used properly, crates can be an excellent tool to lessen the effects of separation anxiety in pups who are prone to hiding and cowering as this becomes a “safe” space for them.
Fourth on Pet Candy’s list of red flags is an inability to “settle down.”
Walking back and forth is a telltale sign that a dog is stressed. For instance, a dog with separation anxiety may run between the window and the door and back again over and over after their owner has left.
- Whining or Barking
Lastly, watch out for excessive whining, howling, and barking.
Repeated vocalizations could be a sign of separation anxiety. When separated from their guardian, anxious dogs can be very loud indeed! In severe case of separation anxiety, dogs will whine or bark for 15+ minutes.
Minimize Separation Anxiety with Brave Paws
In summary, every dog is different.
Individuals will display their own unique behaviors when it comes to separation anxiety. Nevertheless, if your dog shows any of the five signs above it is likely time to talk with a veterinarian, trainer, or behaviorist about how to ease their separation anxiety.
One easy way?
Brave Paws Daily Anxiety and Stress Support!
Clinically researched and veterinarian recommended, this soothing supplement helps dogs feel relaxed and at ease in moments that cause stress, such as when you are coming and going from the house.
To find out more, visit www.mybravepaws.com